Principles of Discipline from Leviticus 26: “If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, then… But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments…” (Leviticus 26:3-4, 14).
- Clearly communicate the rules and their consequences, rewards for obedience and penalties for disobedience. Now the Israelites are responsible for the consequences, not God.
- Don’t make threats, make promises. Threats communicate intention, promises communicate action. God let the Israelites know he would follow through.
- Start small and build. Maturity grows as actions become habits, and habits become character.
- Include both positive and negative consequences. This doubles the motivation to do what is right and good. God says “yes” as often as he says “no.”
- Provide hope. God gives the Israelites a way of escaping the consequences, by confessing, repenting and making amends.
That’s good parenting. “And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people” (Leviticus 26:12).
Heavenly Father, You are the Creator of all things. You are God. I am not, but You did create me in Your image. Within me is a knowledge of You. I have eternity in my heart. I know You, and I know what is right and wrong, what is good and evil.
Why I choose not to follow You when the consequences are terrible, I can’t explain. But I do. Teach me Your ways, O Lord. Thank You for Your Son, who showed me You again, and made restoration possible. May I follow You, may I conform to Your image, may I call You Father.